Malisa Manning
Malisa Manning

Meeting Michele Berdy


Written by Malisa Manning, a Louisiana State University Sophomore

On April 24th, thanks to Dr. Layfield, we had the opportunity to meet with Michele A. Berdy, a writer from The Moscow Times. Ms. Berdy has been working and living in Russia for nearly 30 years. Besides being a writer, she has translated fiction and nonfiction books, produced documentaries and talk shows, co-authored an English-Russian dictionary, interpreted for people such as Boris Yeltsin and Nancy Reagan, and lastly she founded a non-government organization that promotes healthy living all across Russia. Dr. Layfield did everything he could to have her meet us,

Michele Berdy presents to students
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Ms. Berdy quickly connects with the students by sharing her extensive experiences in Russia.

both because he thought it would be a good experience to meet with an American that had lived in Russia before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union and because he wanted us to learn about campaigning from a person who had already started their own healthy living campaign. At first, all of us were quite shy, but Ms. Berdy’s personality was very open and fun and it did not take long before we were tossing out questions about her life and work. She was very gracious and answered everything with a smile. Many of the American students had questions about living during Soviet times versus the present. She said that one of the biggest differences during Soviet times was that most foreigners were extremely isolated, almost to the point

Michele Berdy and Russian and American students
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Following Ms. Berdy's presentation, the students were eager to have a picture for memories.

that the only people who would talk to them for any length of time were underground artists, actors, and musicians. Another difference was the limited communication. She said that if she wanted to call home she would have to order the call several days in advance. As we started asking questions about campaigning, she showed us part of her own campaign, enforcing what we had learned in Dr. Layfield’s class and adding a few more tips here and there as she went. Overall, meeting with Ms. Berdy was a delight and an excellent learning experience. All the students were extremely grateful to Dr. Layfield for putting in so much work to bring her to us and to Ms. Berdy herself for taking the time to meet with us. The information on Michele Berdy was from our meeting with her and from the short biography written by J. Quinn Martin at the website: http://www3.amherst.edu/magazine/issues/04summer/berdy/index.html

Also in this Issue...


  • Weekend Trip to St. Petersburg by Aidan Lowe
    "Our first stop upon arriving was touring the impressive Hermitage art museum. It is one of the largest museums in the world, with over three million pieces of art, and houses such notable classics as works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci. "
  • Lenin's Mausoleum by Blaise Nicklas
    "Once we entered the mausoleum, we quickly noticed how dark it was and it took our eyes a moment to adjust. We walked down one staircase and entered the chamber housing Lenin’s sarcophagus. I was surprised by how far it was from the viewing platform. The glass-walled casket was draped with dark fabric and there was a light inside illuminating his upper body."
  • Spring At Last by William Nelson
    "As we get ready to leave, we are finally rewarded with the jewels of the city that had laid hidden for what seemed like an eternity. Just outside of the Kremlin wall, in the Alexander Gardens, flowers bloom, children run about, and the flowing water animates the fountains, which the gardens are known for. "

  • Issue Photographer: Blaise Nicklas


  • Issue Reviewer: Blaise Nicklas

Lenin's Mausoleum



Written by Blaise Nicklas, an Edinboro University Junior attending Penn State this semester

Blaise Nicklas
Blaise Nicklas

Recently, Aidan, Malisa, and I decided that we hadn’t done justice to all that Red Square has to offer in our previous visits. We had yet to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum, one of the square’s most famous landmarks. So we set a date for the weekend to visit the final resting place of Lenin, a titan of the Soviet Union.

Lenin’s Mausoleum, completed in 1930, is constructed of many different kinds of stone, such as marble, porphyry, granite, and labradorite. It houses the body of Vladimir Ilich Lenin, principal leader of the October Revolution and the first head of the Soviet Union. His name and likeness are still visible all around Moscow, especially in the metro. We arrived around ten that morning to line up for our chance to take a look inside the mausoleum. After a short wait and turning over our cameras, which are banned inside the mausoleum, we passed through metal detectors and walked along the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Here, former leaders and heroes of the Soviet Union are buried. Even one American, John Reed, a communist who aided the October Revolution, was laid to rest here. Once we entered the mausoleum, we quickly noticed how dark it was and it took our eyes a moment to adjust.

We walked down one staircase and entered the chamber housing Lenin’s sarcophagus. I was surprised by how far it was from the viewing platform. The glass-walled casket was draped with dark fabric and there was a light inside illuminating his upper body. The experience was about as macabre as one would expect, but I found it interesting nevertheless. No more than twenty seconds after we entered the viewing area, we had left it and made our way up a flight of steps to the outside again. There is no time for pausing inside the mausoleum. A steady stream of visitors constantly flows through. On the other side of the necropolis, we saw the graves

Lenin's likeness can be found in numerous artistiic expressions throughout Russia, including the Metro in Moscow.

of other Soviet officials, such as Felix Dzerzhinsky, Josef Stalin, and Premier Konstantin Chernenko, who died in March 1985 and was the last person buried in the necropolis. For about eight years, Stalin lay alongside Lenin in the mausoleum, but his body was removed and reburied during the reign of Nikita Khrushchev.

Our visit to Lenin’s Mausoleum was a fascinating one, given the tremendous impact he had on Russia and the world. Though the Soviet Union may no longer exist, his significance cannot be overstated. It was an outing I will not soon forget.

 

 



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